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Sunday, April 22, 2007

EC - Master Race (Krigstein)

Master Race
art by Bernard Krigstein, story by Al Feldstein(?)
Impact #1 (1955)

"Master Race" is one of the most famous EC stories of all. As has been related in many places, Krigstein asked and received permission to expand the original six page story to eight pages (hence CRIME SUSPENSTORIES #26 having a cover clearly meant for this story by Jack Kamen, with another one by Jack Davis for this issue). Krigstein pulls out lots of tricks to make it a more effective story, most notably the unique way of showing movement of the train with a repeated images, and using multiple small panels to control the pacing

The story itself is also very effective. From what I gather, even at this late date a decade after the end of WWII, images of what exactly happened in Europe, the concentrations camps, gas chambers and mass graves, weren't exactly common in American popular culture, so this chronicle of the rise of the Nazis, documenting their crimes and downfall, while still bold and chilling now was much more so then. It's also, if you don't know that much about the story going in, one of the best twist ending reveals in EC history.

Read more about the story in Martin Jukovsky's essay.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:00 pm

    Around the time Al Feldstein penned Master Race, New York newspapers and, I believe, LIFE magazine carried stories about a former concentration camp inmate living in Brooklyn coming face to face with a guard from the camp
    where he had been a prisoner. Odds are that news of this incident was the inspiration for this classic EC tale.


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